Richard French, Director of Business Development
Richard French is Director of Business Development and Strategy for Rocket Lab’s Space Systems Division. He spent over a decade at JPL, where he led development of the Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator program, managed technology partnerships with industry, and spent two years on detail to NASA HQ as a Staff Technologist in STMD, leading development of the Tipping Point and Announcement of Collaborative Opportunity. His earlier career includes a lead mechanical systems engineering role on the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, helping to land the Curiosity Rover on Mars as a member of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry, descent, and landing systems engineering team, and supporting design of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) forebody headshield. He holds a M.Eng. in space systems engineering and a B.S.E. in aerospace engineering, both from the University of Michigan.